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A visual-based learning system which teaches Chinese characters, simple stories & phrases.
Our aim is to bring down the great wall of Chinese language.


At sunrise, a young person went walking in the woods


But wherever he went, fires started around him


Soon the whole forest was burning


As punishment the gods ordered him to go to the holy mountain and remain there as a prisoner for the rest of his life


The flames around him got hotter and hotter until eventually the mountain errupted into a volcano


The End


What Is Chineasy?

by ShaoLan

Growing up in Taiwan as the daughter of a calligrapher, some of my earliest and most treasured memories are of my mother showing me the beauty, shape and form of Chinese characters. Ever since then I have been deeply fascinated by the structure of this incredible language.

But to an outsider, it must seem as impenetrable as the Great Wall of China. Over the years I often wondered if I could find a way to break down this wall, so that anyone who wanted to understand and appreciate the beauty of this fascinating language could do so through their own eyes.

Twelve years ago I moved to England and enrolled at Cambridge University. Two years later, I had one degree and two children. As I settled into my new life, I observed how in-vogue China was and how eagerly people wanted to embrace the culture – yet they struggled with the language. Even my own children found it daunting.

That’s when I started to think about how a new, simpler method for reading Chinese might be useful. By day I worked as an Internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist and by night I was consumed with creating a system to make learning Chinese easy.

The Methodology

I have developed a method which allows a non-Chinese reader to learn the written language by understanding their basic shape and meaning. Once they can recognise a few groups of primary characters, they are then able to combine them and easily learn dozens of additional characters. By repeating this ”recognise and combine” process , a student can quickly learn several hundred characters in a surprisingly short time.

A scholar of the Chinese language will have mastered a staggering twenty thousand characters, but to reach a level of basic literacy you only need to know about one thousand. But what is most intriguing is that if you can learn just the top two hundred characters, it is enough to be able to read about forty percent of popular Chinese literature. That’s also enough for many practical uses, such as reading road signs and restaurant menus as well as grasping the gist of newspaper articles and web sites.

Over the past two years, I have deconstructed nearly two thousand of the most frequently used Chinese characters and identified the top one hundred ”components”. These components are similar to the different shapes and sizes of LEGO® bricks. To create more characters, you just need to combine two or three (and sometimes four or five) of these components together. This is a truly powerful tool for a non-Chinese reader to understand the meaning of Chinese characters quickly and effectively. The memorisation process is fun, fast and long-lasting because of the illustrative, anecdotal presentation style. I hope you find learning Chinese characters as much fun as I had creating the methodology behind Chineasy.